gain the upper hand

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gain the upper hand

To come to be in a position of advantage, power, and/or control (over someone, something, or some situation). We've been doing everything we can for your father, but I'm afraid the cancer is gaining the upper hand. The home team gained the upper hand when their opponents' star quarterback went out with an injury.
See also: gain, hand, upper

get, have, gain, etc. the ˌupper ˈhand (over somebody)

get, etc. power or control over somebody, especially in a fight, competition, etc: Our team gained the upper hand in the second half of the match.The police claim they have the upper hand in their fight against the drug dealers.
See also: hand, upper
References in periodicals archive ?
Prices of 10-year Japanese government bond futures advanced Tuesday morning with short-covering gaining the upper hand as the benchmark Nikkei Stock Average remained above the 11,000 line.
The Quakers, who had already beaten their West Midlands rivals twice this season, never looked like gaining the upper hand this time.
We must do our utmost to prevent hatred from gaining the upper hand. Violence leads to an endless spiral of retribution.
Yorkshire's England hopefuls Gavin Hamilton and Craig White were in fine form at Trent Bridge - but couldn't prevent Nottinghamshire gaining the upper hand.
Cutlip foresees problems with the consolidation of public relations and advertising agencies, with the latter gaining the upper hand. "Another tough question," he says, "is the growing takeover of US firms by foreign companies.
Manchester United and Arsenal have dominated a topsy-turvy battle all season, with United gaining the upper hand in recent weeks - they are just 2-5 to keep the trophy at Old Trafford with Arsenal and Chelsea 5-1 and Liverpool a distant 120-1.